The Rev. Jesse Jackson told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that those who oppose Obamacare must have an alternative plan to cover the sick.
"Either you care for people or you are indifferent to people," Jackson, founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, told Newsmax at the annual Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in Manhattan. "Care matters more than indifference."
"The one thing we do know about Obamacare, more people are covered now than were covered before," Jackson added. "What do 50 million people do who work and can't get paid adequately, who work without health insurance, who catch the early buses to raise other people's children — but cannot get basic insurance? They die early, they become desperate.
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"We do know that under President Obama in the last five years. that we've gone from net loss of 4 million jobs to a plus percentage of jobs, so more people are working, though not enough," he said. "More people do have health coverage."
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement, is under fire on Capitol Hill, as the Senate debates whether to fund the law as part of a continuing resolution to keep the federal government open after the current fiscal year ends next week.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz began filibustering the Senate Tuesday afternoon, pledging to speak against Obamacare from the floor "until I am no longer able to stand."
The freshman senator has long pushed to defund Obamacare.
The House of Representatives voted 230-189 last week to temporarily finance the federal government through mid-December but strip funding for Obamacare. That legislation was sent to the Senate.
Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that the continuing resolution would pass the Senate without the provision to defund Obamacare — and the president has said that he would not sign any legislation that excludes money for the healthcare law.
At the CGI America meeting, which ends on Thursday, Jackson told Newsmax that "the disparages in healthcare" in the United States were among many situations that indicated that President Obama lacked a broader plan for addressing the issues facing African Americans.
"There's great anxiety, because blacks languish at the bottom. The disparaities in healthcare — and big cities are closing public schools and laying off teachers and closing trauma units at the hospitals — and there's no plan for reconstruction for those who are locked out.
"There must be some plan for those who are targeted with pain. There must be some plan for rejuvenation," Jackson said. "Right now, such a plan is not very visible."
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